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"Is not this better," murmured he, "than what we dreamed of in the forest?"
"I know not! I know not!" she hurriedly replied. "Better? Yea; so we may both die, and little Pearl die with us!" (23.18-23)
Uh, we're going to go with no. No, it is not better for all three of them to die at the scaffold rather than run off and start a new life in England. But to Dimmesdale, it actually is better. Poor man.
The angel and apostle of the coming revelation must be a woman, indeed, but lofty, pure, and beautiful; and wise, moreover, not through dusky grief, but the ethereal medium of joy; and showing how sacred love should make us happy, by the truest test of a life successful to such an end! (24.11)
Here, the narrator tells us that Hester once thought she could revolutionize the roles women play in relation to men and to society. The narrator claims that such a philosophizing person would have to be a woman, but she would have to be knowledgeable and wise because of "joy." Too bad for Hester that her wisdom comes through grief and guilt.